Black History Month serves as a special time for African Americans and provides space for personal reflection, accountability, cultural pride and gratitude. Reflecting on historic African American figures and how they helped shape the world we are living in today provides a sense of communal strength and hope for the continued advancement of African American progress.
The civil rights movement has enabled me many career pathways that otherwise would not have existed had that movement never occurred. The reconstruction of policies and practices resulting from the civil rights movement laid the foundation for African Americans to begin building wealth for current and future generations.
The rise of predatory lending, redlining, and reverse redlining, meant to advance discriminatory lending objectives, have also played a factor in the reduced lending capital available to African American communities. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act and The Fair Housing Act were put into place to combat these discriminatory practices and have made lending practices better. Despite the enactment of these policies to make capital more accessible to African American communities, we still have work to do to ensure that discriminatory lending practices no longer take place.
This is why I feel so strongly about the work that I do in helping low to moderate-income prospective homeowners overcome the barriers by not only guiding them in the right direction but also providing the necessary education they need to succeed in their homeownership endeavors. This includes down payment and closing cost assistance to those in need. As an emerging Community Development Financial Institution, I am able to provide economic development services and loans that help current homeowners sustain and maintain their homes. Over half of my customers are African American. HOC Lending is also a proud supporter of The Black Homeownership Collaborative’s 7-point plan to create 3 million net new Black homeowners by 2030.
African Americans have made professional strides in the lending industry which have played an integral role in helping to improve lending practices within African American communities. A major player in the lending space is Mr. Ben Slayton. He is the owner of the nation’s largest Black-led mortgage lender (Legacy Home Loans). He was also the first Black member of the National Association of Realtors making him the first African American realtor in the U.S. Mr. Slayton is an advocate for affordable homeownership and African Americans acquiring assets through real estate.
Slowly but surely, I believe racial inclusion will help to positively shift attitudes and opinions of those who have continued to use a systematic racial mindset to govern both social and economic interaction. We can make a difference working together as a community to further improve perceptions created from discriminatory intent and advocate for injustice as the peaceful civil rights leaders did before us.